Ice and flood warnings as Storm Barra lashes Britain with 80mph gales and heavy rain


Hilarious video captured the moment two women desperately cling onto a trampoline while winds try to carry it away, as Storm Barra continues to leave a trail of destruction across the British Isles. 

The UK was pounded by strong wind and heavy rain overnight as the storm swept through from the west, felling trees and leaving some areas without power.

Counties in the south-west of England and in Wales remain under a yellow weather warning until 6pm tonight, meaning residents face delays to transport and the risk of power outages. 

Around 1,000 homes are still without power as a result of the ‘weather bomb’, with the Met Office warning of potential floods and other hazards on the roads up and down the country.

In one viral clip in County Cork, Ireland, a trampoline – turned magic carpet by fierce gusts – was seen leaning against a fence while two women grabbed it.

A strong surge of wind saw the pair tumble forward, with of the women – wearing a dressing gown and a towel on her head – left dangling in the air by the strength of the gale. 

Meanwhile, in Wales, one school was forced to shut temporarily after gusts of more than 70mph ripped part of its roof off on Tuesday evening.

No-one was injured as most people had left the premises, the school said, although Dyfed-Powys Police were called to the scene to deal with debris that had been blown onto a nearby road.

Wind speeds of 86mph were recorded in Aberdaron, Gwynedd, just a week after a 81mph gust was recorded in Aberporth, Ceredigion, during Storm Arwen.

Coastal communities were warned to take care when walking close to piers and harbours, with huge waves hitting seaside towns in Dorset, Devon and Cornwall.

The waves were so large in the village of Borth in Ceredigion, mid-Wales, that locals were asked to avoid the area completely. 

Storm Barra’s devastation has resulted in:

  • A school in Wales being closed after its roof was ripped off by high winds;
  • Widespread disruption to rail and ferry services in Scotland;
  • Warnings of flooding in many areas across the UK amid scenes of crashing waves;
  • Mountain Rescue Teams spending 16 hours helping a walker in difficulty in snowy conditions;
  • Boris Johnson insisting the Government must learn lessons from the storms 
This is the hilarious moment two women - including one in her dressing gown with a towel on her head - desperately cling onto a trampoline as Storm Barra's winds try to carry it away

This is the hilarious moment two women – including one in her dressing gown with a towel on her head – desperately cling onto a trampoline as Storm Barra’s winds try to carry it away

Storm Barra hitting Longships Lighthouse off land's End, Cornwall early on Wednesday morning

Storm Barra hitting Longships Lighthouse off land’s End, Cornwall early on Wednesday morning

A tree has fallen on a parked car, due to strong winds caused by storm Barra in Bush Street, Pembroke Dock, Wales

A tree has fallen on a parked car, due to strong winds caused by storm Barra in Bush Street, Pembroke Dock, Wales

Braemar Mountain Rescue Team spent 16 hours helping a walker in difficulty in snowy conditions at the Fords of Avon refuge

Braemar Mountain Rescue Team spent 16 hours helping a walker in difficulty in snowy conditions at the Fords of Avon refuge

Braemar Mountain Rescue Team spent 16 hours helping a walker in difficulty in snowy conditions at the Fords of Avon refuge

Waves were almost double the size of the properties as they crashed into the seawall at Seagrove Bay on the Isle of Wight this morning

Waves were almost double the size of the properties as they crashed into the seawall at Seagrove Bay on the Isle of Wight this morning

Storm Barra hitting Cape Cornwall in the far west of Cornwall as the light fades on Tuesday evening

Storm Barra hitting Cape Cornwall in the far west of Cornwall as the light fades on Tuesday evening

Debris strewn across the road from Storm Barra and coastal waves, as the strong winds continue to batter the promenade along the west coast of Aberystwyth this morning

Debris strewn across the road from Storm Barra and coastal waves, as the strong winds continue to batter the promenade along the west coast of Aberystwyth this morning

A heavy goods vehicle crashes through flood water on the A62 Oldham Road in the village of Denshaw, Saddleworth

A heavy goods vehicle crashes through flood water on the A62 Oldham Road in the village of Denshaw, Saddleworth

Damage caused to scaffolding on Porthcawl harbour today as Storm Barra swept across the country bring gusts of up to 86mph

Damage caused to scaffolding on Porthcawl harbour today as Storm Barra swept across the country bring gusts of up to 86mph

CLA says government response to Storm Arwen shows no progress made in ‘levelling up’ 

The Country Land and Business Association (CLA) has slammed the government’s response to Storm Arwen, claiming it shows no progress has been made in ‘levelling up’ the countryside.

The CLA, which represents 28,000 rural businesses in England and Wales, has said the UK Government appears to be uninterested in helping rural communities devastated by the storm.

Thousands of homes are still without power in many small villages, with an enormous toll placed on businesses through damaged buildings and lost earnings. Some farms are reporting as having lost as many as 1,000 trees.

Government eventually called in the army for logistical support after a long delay. Whilst Ministers have criticised energy companies, the CLA argued it was government’s responsibility to lead the response.

The CLA has called on Government to develop an Emergency Recovery Scheme similar to those created in the aftermath of other natural events such as flooding.

As Storm Barra hits rural communities for a second time in as many weeks, the Scheme could help rural communities bounce back more quickly after storms.

CLA President Mark Tufnell said: ‘The impact on rural communities in the north of England is every bit as severe as the South East suffered in 1987 – but with only a fraction of the government support and public interest. People in these communities are legitimately asking where is the government’s ‘levelling up’ agenda.

‘With thousands of homes still without power, I would have expected a huge government response. In an emergency of this scale, only Ministers have the authority to mobilise support from government agencies and the private sector to get these communities back on their feet. But that doesn’t appear to have happened. No COBR, no emergency response coordination, nothing.

‘As far as I can see, government has just taken a back seat, passed the buck onto energy companies and walked away. It is shocking.

‘As Storm Barra batters the same communities again, there is dwindling hope in the rural north that the levelling-up agenda will ever apply to them.

‘Rural communities cannot be not forgotten about, yet again, in their time of need.’

Meanwhile, Boris Johnson said today the Government must learn the lessons from Storm Arwen and Storm Barra after he was asked whether he did everything possible to help people in the north-east of England.

Labour MP Mary Kelly Foy, who represents City of Durham, highlighted how thousands of people were left without heating or electricity after Storm Arwen, adding it took five days for the Government to make a statement to the Commons and a week for the Army to be sent in.

She said: ‘My constituents weren’t just left without power, they were left without a Government that cares. Can the Prime Minister look me in the eye and honestly say he did everything he could as soon as he could to help the people of Durham?’

Mr Johnson replied: ‘Yes I can and I can tell her I was in contact with representatives of the local authorities, of the Army, of Northern Powergrid to see what more we could do to assist them in restoring power, and I sympathise very much with the families who lost power for an unconscionably long period.

‘The House will have heard the explanation of the various electricity companies about why that was so.

‘We must learn the lessons from storms Arwen and Barra and make sure nothing like that happens again.’

His comments come as it is estimated 1,000 properties remain without power, just days after the last few homes were reconnected following Storm Arwen, which had caused ‘catastrophic damage’ to electricity networks mainly in the north east of Scotland, affecting 135,000 households in all. 

The Met Office issued yellow weather warnings as Storm Barra brought high winds, heavy rain and snow on Tuesday.

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) said around 1,000 customers remained without power across the north of Scotland, with 700 of these in the Grampian area, at 8am on Wednesday.

It has restored power to more than 8,000 customers following Storm Barra and engineers are working to reconnect the rest.

More rain is forecast in some areas on Wednesday and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency has issued 11 flood alerts and three flood warnings.

There has also been some disruption to rail and ferry services in the wake of the storm, while three schools in Aberdeenshire are closed.

SSEN said it hopes to reconnect all affected customers later on Wednesday.

An SSEN Distribution spokesman said: ‘SSEN engineers have restored power to over 8,000 customers following severe wind gusts and heavy snowfall brought by Storm Barra.

‘As of 8am, around 1,000 customers remain without power across the north of Scotland, with 700 of these in the Grampian area.

‘Our teams are working hard to restore supplies to our impacted customers as soon as possible this morning and expect to reconnect all customers impacted by Storm Barra later today.

‘We are working closely with our local resilience partners to provide support to our priority service register customers and gain access to faults blocked by heavy snow and fallen trees.’

On the railways, ScotRail said services between Stranraer, Kilmarnock and Glasgow Central may be cancelled or revised on Wednesday due to the impact of Storm Barra the previous day.

Caledonian MacBrayne said amended timetables will operate on some ferry routes due to disruption the day before.

It came as photos from across the UK showed the harsh effects of the storm, with waves crashing against land across the country, as many brace for the prospect of flooding.

Hyder Ali Pirwany, of Oakehampton in Devon, filmed a hailstorm that hit overnight, leaving the streets carpeted in white.

He said: ‘(There was) thunder and lightning at first, followed by heavy sleet and hail which piled up like snow.

‘It knocked out my television and FM radio reception – it is back now almost 12 hours later.’

Mr Pirwany said that the hail was still falling by 10.30am on Wednesday, but not as heavily as in the night.

Meanwhile, those brave enough to tackle the surf have been advised to stay out of the water, with heavy rainfall seeing sewage overflows tipping waste water directly into the ocean.

Environmental charity Surfers Against Sewage shows pollution risk warnings across the south coast, south-west coast and Welsh coast on its interactive map.

In the north of Scotland, 1,000 properties were without power in the wake of the storm as of 8am – just days after the final homes were reconnected after Storm Arwen hit late last month.

Meanwhile, Braemar Mountain Rescue Team spent 16 hours helping a walker in difficulty in snowy conditions at the Fords of Avon refuge.

They tweeted: ‘A very challenging night at times. Huge thanks to the couple that found him initially and came for help.’ The walker was recovered safe and well. 

Elsewhere in Wales, a school which had part of its roof ripped off by high winds yesterday remains closed to pupils today. 

No-one was injured as most people had left the campus at Bryngwyn Comprehensive School in Llanelli before the building was damaged, a statement from the school said.

Dyfed-Powys Police was called to the scene to deal with debris that had been blown on to a nearby road. Pupils were told to stay at home on Wednesday so the damage can be assessed. 

Earlier today, fresh ice and flood warnings were issued for parts of the UK, amid fears the last blast of Storm Barra would lash Britain with 80mph gales and heavy rain. 

The Met Office notices come after the tempest battered many areas yesterday, with about 3,200 homes in north-east Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales left without power in the wake of the ‘weather bomb’.

That was in the wake of thousands more households in Scotland and north-east England losing power for up to 10 days after suffering 100mph winds and lashing rain at the end of November. 

Northern Powergrid has not confirmed whether all homes were connected by Tuesday night as promised.

Storm Barra moved in from the west on Tuesday, and a yellow weather warning for wind is in place until 6pm today for the west coast of Wales and south-west England.

The Met Office warns that delays to road, rail, air and ferry transport are likely and a further short term loss of power and other services is possible. 

Aberdaron in Gwynedd, Wales, which is covered by the warning, was battered by gales of 86mph on Tuesday, while Orlock Head in Co Down, N Ireland, faced 76mph gusts.

Met Office forecasters said Storm Barra is not expected to cause as much chaos as Storm Arwen – though it has already sparked travel delays and school closures in Scotland.

Storm Barra batters the seafront at Porthcawl in Bridgend this morning with severe gale force winds and massive waves

Storm Barra batters the seafront at Porthcawl in Bridgend this morning with severe gale force winds and massive waves

Storm Barra brought huge crashing waves along Aberystwyth seafront last night, with an hour to go before high tide

Storm Barra brought huge crashing waves along Aberystwyth seafront last night, with an hour to go before high tide

Storm Barra crashes into the seafront at Westward Ho! last night at high tide in North Devon amid new weather warnings

Storm Barra crashes into the seafront at Westward Ho! last night at high tide in North Devon amid new weather warnings

A person tries to clear the road as Storm Barra combined with high tide last night in Aberystwyth, creating huge waves along the promenade

A person tries to clear the road as Storm Barra combined with high tide last night in Aberystwyth, creating huge waves along the promenade

Storm Barra from the west coast of Scotland's Mull of Galloway at Port Logan yesterday

Storm Barra from the west coast of Scotland’s Mull of Galloway at Port Logan yesterday

Barra named after BBC NI weather presenter 

Storm Barra was named after a BBC Northern Ireland weather presenter.

Barra Best revealed he had received a call from Met Eireann, the Irish meteorological service, earlier this year asking for the origins of his name. Soon enough, his name was being plastered across headlines amid warnings of the damage the storm could cause.

BBC Northern Ireland weather presenter Barra Best

BBC Northern Ireland weather presenter Barra Best

He told the BBC’s Evening Extra programme: ‘What happened was the head of Irish weather service Met Eireann called me in August and asked me where my name was from.

‘I thought it was a bit strange, I didn’t know why she was asking – it comes from the south-west of Ireland from Finbarr, St Finbarr in Co Cork and it’s derived from that.’

He continued: ‘She said oh that’s fine, that’s fine. I asked why did you want to know and she said oh you’ll find out in about a month. Of course the email came out and the list of names were announced and she had decided to put my name in there.’

Spokeswoman Nicky Maxey said: ‘We are not expecting the impacts of Barra to be as bad as we saw with Arwen.

‘Storm Barra will bring strong winds and heavy rainfall to many parts of the UK today. We may see some snow on the higher ground, too.

‘It is unlikely to be as impactful as Storm Arwen last week but there will be blustery conditions so people should still be prepared.’

ScotRail has warned that some services will be cancelled today due to the storm. Temperatures will be mild for the time of year today, with London predicted to see 7C, 8C in Cardiff, 4C for Edinburgh and 6C in Belfast.

The Environment Agency has issued 11 flood warnings for England at locations including Hartlepool and Sunderland in the North East, Bournemouth and Weymouth in the South, and part of the Cumbrian coast.

Some 66 flood alerts, for areas where flooding is possible, have also been issued across the country.

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) has sent 11 flood alerts and five warnings for areas in the north-east of Scotland and the south-west.

Natural Resources Wales has also issued 12 flood warnings and 11 alerts, mainly covering coastal areas.

Yesterday, most of England, Wales and Northern Ireland was on alert and covered by Met Office wind warnings amid fears over travel disruption, while a band of snow on the storm’s leading edge was set to bring blizzards in the far north. 

By this afternoon there were 56,000 homes and businesses without power across the Republic of Ireland and schools closed across 12 counties, with one official in the country saying Barra was only ‘halfway through’ and the strongest winds could be yet to come. There were also 4,000 properties without power across Northern Ireland.

Forecasters said Barra was officially a ‘weather bomb’, another name for an ‘explosive cyclogenesis’, which is when there is a rapid fall in pressure of 24 millibars in 24 hours in the central section of an area of low pressure.

Barra fell from a pressure of 1017mb at 6am yesterday to 961mb at 6am today, meaning there was a 56mb drop in 24 hours which therefore developed over double the criteria required for it to become a weather bomb.

Met Office meteorologists added that forecast maps were showing small breaks in the ‘line convection’ – a narrow band of very intense rain and gales – which can be signs of some rotation of weak funnel clouds or tornadoes.

A fallen tree blocks the A702 near Coulter in South Lanarkshire this afternoon as Storm Barra hits the UK and Ireland

A fallen tree blocks the A702 near Coulter in South Lanarkshire this afternoon as Storm Barra hits the UK and Ireland

Fastnet Lighthouse off County Cork yesterday

Fastnet Lighthouse off County Cork yesterday

An extraordinary video filmed from inside the lantern of Fastnet Lighthouse today showed huge waves crashing against the structure, located on the remote Fastnet Rock in the Atlantic eight miles off County Cork, during the storm

Waves batter the seafront of Penzance in Cornwall at first light yesterday morning as Storm Barra hits the coast

Waves batter the seafront of Penzance in Cornwall at first light yesterday morning as Storm Barra hits the coast

A person places sand bags outside a property in Langstone, Hampshire, yesterday as Storm Barra hits the UK and Ireland

A person places sand bags outside a property in Langstone, Hampshire, yesterday as Storm Barra hits the UK and Ireland

Specialist Fire crews respond to a partial roof collapse at the Chill Factore indoor ski slope in Manchester

Specialist Fire crews respond to a partial roof collapse at the Chill Factore indoor ski slope in Manchester 

High winds caused by Storm Barra ripped a large section of the top of the roof away from the structure, leaving sheets of corrugated metal unsecured around 165 feet high

High winds caused by Storm Barra ripped a large section of the top of the roof away from the structure, leaving sheets of corrugated metal unsecured around 165 feet high

What is a weather bomb? 

A ‘weather bomb’ – also known as an ‘explosive cyclogenesis’ by meteorologists – happens when there is a rapid fall in pressure in the central section of an area of low pressure.

The level has to fall by 24 millibars in 24 hours in our latitudes to be classed as a ‘bomb’.

The events happen when dry air from the stratosphere flows into an area of low pressure.

This causes air within the depression to rise very fast and increases its rotation, which deepens the pressure and creates a more vigorous storm.

They happen most frequently over sea near major warm ocean currents, such as the western Pacific Ocean near the Kuroshio Current, or over the north Atlantic Ocean near the Gulf Stream.

There are estimated to be between 45 and 65 explosive cyclogenesis events a year and that more ‘bombs’ tend to occur in the northern hemisphere. 

On Monday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said more than 1,000 homes were still without power but that he was assured by Northern Powergrid boss Phil Jones that ‘affected properties would be reconnected tomorrow (Tuesday) at the latest’.

Mr Johnson said ‘too many people have spent too long without power’ and the situation in northern England was not acceptable.

Schools in Dumfries and Galloway were forced to close because of the weather. Stranraer Academy was shut after the wind caused structural damage to the roof, the council said, and Drummore School closed after trees were blown down.

Photographs yesterday showed huge waves smashing into the South West coast in Devon and Cornwall as the 1,000-mile wide tempest roared into the UK, while flooding hit parts of Ireland and there was snow in northern England. 

Gusts of 67mph were recorded this morning on the Isles of Scilly, off the far South West coast of England, as Barra moves its way in from the West. There were also 83mph gusts on Sherkin Island, off County Cork in Ireland. 

An extraordinary video filmed from inside the lantern of Fastnet Lighthouse showed huge waves crashing against the structure, located on the remote Fastnet Rock in the Atlantic eight miles off County Cork, during the storm. 

The BBC’s Ireland correspondent Chris Page urged people to ‘stay indoors if you can’ in Northern Ireland which is expected to bear the brunt of the storm, although almost all of Britain is under a wind warning. This expires for most of the UK at midnight tonight, but there is also a warning for the South West running until 6pm tomorrow.

Forecasters said larger-than-usual waves in coastal areas could present a possible threat to life if wild winds whip street furniture and beach material into the air – with 35ft waves recorded off South West Ireland yesterday.  



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Written by Bourbiza Mohamed

A technology enthusiast and a passionate writer in the field of information technology, cyber security, and blockchain

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